SEC, LSU end all team activities through April 15; NCAA to restore athletes' lost season
This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend
The end of our elaborate plans
The end of everything that stands
... "The End" by Jim Morrison and the Doors, released on Jan. 4, 1967
BATON ROUGE — Well, it's the end of college and other sports ... for now.
On Wednesday, fans learned they could no longer attend any of LSU's sporting events through March 30 because of the spreading coronavirus.
On Thursday, all games and events on the spring schedule were suspended through March 30.
And on Friday, LSU teams were told they can no longer even practice or participate in games through April 15, including spring practice, which is not even in preparation for an immediate game. The spring "game," which is really a practice, is still tentatively scheduled for April 18 at Southern University's A.W. Mumford Stadium as Tiger Stadium's field is being refurbished.
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"In coordination with the Southeastern Conference, all member institutions, including LSU Athletics, will suspend both practice and competition for all sports through April 15," a LSU statement released Friday afternoon said. "The decision comes in conjunction with preventative measures taken by the SEC, NCAA, and campus officials in regard to the spread of COVID-19."
The last possible practice day before the tentative April 16 date was Friday. There can be no meetings after 5 p.m. Monday.
March Emptiness: No games for LSU
"There is nothing more important than the health and well being of our student-athletes, our staff and community,” LSU athletic director Scott Woodward said. "This decision did not come lightly for anyone. This is an extraordinary measure, but a necessary one for the greater good."
Not Happening: LSU's baseball team was about to board a bus to Ole Miss on Thursday
LSU was ending its first week of spring football practice this weekend, and LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri had planned on practicing in the coming days.
"I've got to meet with my staff and come up with a plan," Mainieri said on Thursday. "I'm sure we'll do intrasquad scrimmages to keep the guys sharp."
Now, LSU is encouraging all students living on campus to return home. Student-athletes and other students who choose to stay at LSU will continue to receive food, medical care, and housing. Student-athlete academic services and tutoring will continue to be facilitated through the Cox Communications Academic Center.
Meanwhile, the Manship School of Journalism's Hall of Fame ceremony set for March 30, meanwhile, has been postponed to a date not yet set. SEC associate commissioner Herb Vincent, who was formerly a LSU associate athletic director, and three others will be inducted into that Hall of Fame.
Development: NCAA plans to award year for those impacted by season suspensions
There was some good news Friday as the NCAA decided to re-start the interrupted 2020 season for spring sports athletes next year.
Mainieri had discussed what happens to his players' careers on Thursday.
"I know if I was in their shoes, I would be in a state of shock," Mainieri, a former infielder at LSU and the University of New Orleans, said. "I'm in a state of shock as a 62-year-old coach that's been in the business for 38 years. These kids get four years or three years in some cases, or less. Perhaps in Cole Henry's case, only two years."
Henry, who is LSU's ace right-hander, is a draft-eligible sophomore and was likely going to enter the draft before the season was suspended and still could.
"And to have it interrupted like this has got to be a shock to their system," Mainieri said. "We're all disappointed. We were all looking forward to the SEC season."